NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

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NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 29 Jul 2017, 5:45 pm

Not sure where to put this but it's an important issue for rugby too at all levels of the sport.

One of the N.F.L.’s smartest players did the math and decided to retire after just three years in the league.

John Urschel, an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens who received much publicity for his off-season pursuit of a doctorate in math at M.I.T., told the team on Thursday that he was hanging up his cleats at 26.

Urschel’s agent, Jim Ivler, said Urschel was overwhelmed with interview requests but would not be speaking to the news media. On Twitter, Urschel wrote that “there is no big story here” and that the decision to retire was not an easy one to make, but “it was the right one for me.”

He added that he planned to return to school full time in the fall, “to take courses that are only offered in the fall semester” and spend time with his fiancée, who is expecting their first child in December.

Urschel’s decision came two days after the release of a study in which all but one of 111 brains of former N.F.L. players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head.

The Baltimore Sun and ESPN, citing anonymous sources with the Ravens, said his retirement was related to the study.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/sports/football/john-urschel-baltimore-ravens-retires-nfl-cte-study.html

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by Gwlad on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 4:08 am

For a second I thought this was a Super Rugby player quitting over the potential to be knocked out in NZ.

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by Golden on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 12:54 pm

While concussion is absolutely a massive issue, the 110/111 results are a bit sensationalised. The New York times explained the below


"The set of players posthumously tested by Dr. McKee is far from a random sample of N.F.L. retirees. “There’s a tremendous selection bias,” she has cautioned, noting that many families have donated brains specifically because the former player showed symptoms of C.T.E.

But 110 positives remain significant scientific evidence of an N.F.L. player’s risk of developing C.T.E., which can be diagnosed only after death. About 1,300 former players have died since the B.U. group began examining brains. So even if every one of the other 1,200 players would have tested negative — which even the heartiest skeptics would agree could not possibly be the case — the minimum C.T.E. prevalence would be close to 9 percent, vastly higher than in the general population."

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 1:25 pm

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/rugby-is-sleepwalking-into-concussion-crisis-pxfgbdt97

David Walsh explains why the results are worth heeding, and why rugby may be causing even more brain damage.

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by TightHEAD on Mon 31 Jul 2017, 4:37 pm

Used to be the norm that rugby players used to retired in their mid 20s when I was growing up.
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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 01 Aug 2017, 1:27 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Used to be the norm that rugby players used to retired in their mid 20s when I was growing up.

Really? At what level?

Now back in the amateur days I could imagine many players reducing their game time as they build careers, but I cannot remember huge numbers of top flight players retiring especially early in the 70s/80s.

Merve the Swerve and Bill Beaumont are famous retired early due to head issues - yet both were around 30.

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by Scottrf on Tue 01 Aug 2017, 2:29 pm

TightHEAD wrote:Used to be the norm that rugby players used to retired in their mid 20s when I was growing up.
You just spend a couple of months pretending you were in New Zealand. I'd say you're still growing up.

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 8:31 am

News today:

Aaron Hernandez Found to Have Severe C.T.E.

The brain scan came as a surprise even to researchers who for years have been studying the relationship between brain disease and deaths of professional football players.

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end and a convicted murderer, was 27 when he committed suicide in April. Yet a posthumous examination of his brain showed he had such a severe form of the degenerative brain disease C.T.E. that the damage was akin to that of players well into their 60s.

It was, a lawyer for his family said, in announcing the findings on Thursday, “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age.”

C.T.E., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, has been found in more than 100 former N.F.L. players, some of whom committed suicide, according to researchers at Boston University.

Yet the results of the study of Mr. Hernandez’s brain are adding another dimension to his meteoric rise and fall that could raise questions about the root of his erratic, violent behavior and lead to a potentially tangled legal fight with the N.F.L., the most powerful sports league in the United States.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/sports/aaron-hernandez-cte-brain.html

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by Gwlad on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 3:06 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Used to be the norm that rugby players used to retired in their mid 20s when I was growing up.

Really? At what level?

Now back in the amateur days I could imagine many players reducing their game time as they build careers, but I cannot remember huge numbers of top flight players retiring especially early in the 70s/80s.

Merve the Swerve and Bill Beaumont are famous retired early due to head issues - yet both were around 30.

what he means is that he did.

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by BamBam on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 3:51 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:News today:

Aaron Hernandez Found to Have Severe C.T.E.

The brain scan came as a surprise even to researchers who for years have been studying the relationship between brain disease and deaths of professional football players.

Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end and a convicted murderer, was 27 when he committed suicide in April. Yet a posthumous examination of his brain showed he had such a severe form of the degenerative brain disease C.T.E. that the damage was akin to that of players well into their 60s.

It was, a lawyer for his family said, in announcing the findings on Thursday, “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age.”

C.T.E., or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, has been found in more than 100 former N.F.L. players, some of whom committed suicide, according to researchers at Boston University.

Yet the results of the study of Mr. Hernandez’s brain are adding another dimension to his meteoric rise and fall that could raise questions about the root of his erratic, violent behavior and lead to a potentially tangled legal fight with the N.F.L., the most powerful sports league in the United States.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/sports/aaron-hernandez-cte-brain.html

I followed this case with interest as an NFL fan

Reading the reports of his crimes, it seems that Hernandez exhibited signs of being a sociopath/psychopath with no emotion or remorse.

How much of that is due to CTE is a very interesting angle.

He played tight end through high school, college and in the NFL for 3 seasons - a fairly short career in professional terms due to his crimes, and his position required him to play as a fast, skilful catcher of the ball rather than someone who is actively seeking contact

Other NFL players who have been diagnosed with CTE during their post mortems have mainly been defensive players, running backs and offensive linemen - all of which seek contact on almost every single snap of an NFL game and they tend to have had long careers at the professional level too

I'm keen to see how the CTE angle progresses in relation to Hernandez, if indeed it does

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Re: NFL player quits sport over concussion risk

Post by lostinwales on Fri 22 Sep 2017, 4:04 pm

Because the susceptibility to concussion may depend on a number of factors (like how well the brain fits the skull) it may be that Hernandez was unusually sensitive. There will be outliers.

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